And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? Luke 2:49
In chapter 2 of the book of Luke, we find Joseph, Mary, and Jesus in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. Jesus here is 12 years old, but in reading chapter 2 you will see that boy Jesus is no average 12 year child. Passover for the Jews is both celebration and remembrance of what God did for them in Exodus and how God delivered them from bondage in Egypt. It is here in the gospel of Luke we start to see a glimpse of the new covenant beginning to take shape, which brought to the Christians not only a way out of bondage, but an escape from the bondage of death from sins through the Son of God, our Messiah.
As we lead up to our lesson as it pertains to the focus scripture above, we have to note that Passover has come to an end and Jesus’s parents are under the impression that their son, AKA the son of God, is in the group of people which at this point are returning to their homes. It is at about the 20 mile marker, which the Bible denotes as a day’s journey, they begin to wonder why their son has not checked in with them. Their first thought was to check with their relatives in the group and when he was not found with them, they started to make their journey back to the holy city that they had just departed from the day before.
Now imagine with me for a second you have taken a very long trip from Nazareth to Jerusalem which is estimated to be around 120 to 130 miles, you have spent 7 to 8 days celebrating a hectic Passover schedule, and now you are preparing to travel another 100 plus miles back home. When I imagine this situation I think of my wife’s train of thought on all the things as a mom and wife she will have to do and then the burdens she runs over and over in her head about the things she will need to do once she is back home.
From my own prospective I have all the father and husband responsibilities that have to be completed to start the trip, planning the details of the journey, and then there are all those things that will have to be done once we are back home. If you are like me you are getting stressed out just thinking about the above scenario, but here is the part that sends your blood pressure a few notches higher, YOUR SON IS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. It is the biblical version of “Home Alone”.
Your only option is to leave the strength and safety of the group you are traveling with and head back looking for this child that has been entrusted to you by God. Luke 2:46 tells us that once they were back in Jerusalem they searched for him for three days and finally found the boy Jesus sitting very calm and studious in the temple talking to the teachers of this time. Can I rephrase that sentence to say he was listening and having a deep conversation with the teachers of the day.
Now give me one more second of your imagination and answer a very simple question for me: what emotion are you experiencing as you think of the above situation? As a dad I am mad, scared, relieved, confused, tired, sad, happy, and just about any other action word that relates to emotion. There sits my son, the son as I said before that was entrusted to me by God Almighty himself. He is safe, but how dare him worry his mom and I like that, which Mary expresses very intently in verse forty eight, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” Rephrased Mary asked Jesus how dare you do this to us, we have been worried sick about you!
Jesus responds calmly and I have to believe respectfully, “Why did you not come looking for me here first?” See I think the lesson was very simple and one in the end very hard to swallow. Jesus clearly stated the facts that both of his parents already knew. He was the son of God, God had a specific purpose for him, and Passover was more than just a fun ritual for him.
I think the moral of this story is keep God the number one focus in all your journeys and Jesus will never be left behind. May God bless you in your journey through life!
Rev. Ewell Vernon is pastor at Mountain View Baptist Church in Lowgap.